09/02/2009 11:00PM

Stakes highlight closing-day card at Marquis


The Saskatchewan Derby and the Prairie Lily Sales Stakes, which are the two richest races at Marquis Downs at $25,000 apiece, will ring out the meeting on a high note Saturday. The Saskatchewan Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, attracted a solid trio of Alberta invaders plus a pair from Winnipeg and two locally based horses. The Prairie Lily, restricted to 2-year-olds who passed through the ring at last year's Prairie Lily yearling sale, lured 10 horses, all maidens.

Saturday's card also includes the $7,500 Graceful Klinchit Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares in which Avenging Kat will be looking to complete a 5-for-5 meeting.

Quiet Approach, who is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on Aug. 22, looms the horse to beat in the Saskatchewan Derby. Trained by Rod Cone, Quiet Approach won the one-mile Canadian Juvenile at Northlands last fall and finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Count Lathum in his start prior to the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby. Hugh Huston will come over for the mount.

Tease the Tiger, conditioned by Monica Russell, finish a solid second in the 1 1/8-mile Manitoba Derby at Assiniboia Downs, but tired badly to finish 11th when back on his home grounds for the Canadian Derby. Jake Barton again gets the call.

Double Shuffle was claimed for $17,500 from a win in Edmonton on Aug. 7, and doubled up over the same one-mile distance in his first start for trainer Robertino Diodoro. Stephen Heiler will be his new rider.

Cooler Online and Frozen Assets both come off a win over one mile in a conditioned $5,000 claiming race at Assiniboia Downs.

J C's Action, who began his season with one start in Edmonton, has won three stakes and is 4 for 4 since moving to Saskatchewan but will get tested for class in this company. Danzig Park, coming off a first-level allowance win over the local strip, is the other local hopeful.

The 6 1/2-furlong Prairie Lily features a matchup between the gelding Instant Smile and the filly Sizzling Song, who both finished second in their respective six-furlong Heritage Sstakes for Saskatchewan-breds on Aug. 22.

Instant Smile was no match for the undefeated Besnard in the Western Heritage, but has been displaying steady improvement for trainer Hubert Pilon. Sheldon Rodrigo retains the mount. Sizzling Song ran well against the sharp Marge's Action in the Woodland Heritage. Tim Moccasin picks up the mount for trainer Mike Tourangeau.